Belles Shut Down Ravens
ANDERSON, Ind. - The Saint Mary's basketball team earned their second consecutive win of the season with a 68-57 victory over Anderson on Tuesday night.
Both teams battled for position and the lead throughout much of the first half as neither team held more than a five-point lead until there was less than three minutes left in the opening period. The Belles were the ones to gain the first two-possession lead in the game after Maddie Kohler hit a jump shot at 15:12 to put Saint Mary's up 10-5.
The Ravens posted 14 of the next 19 points to shift the momentum and the lead in their favor at 19-15 with 10:20 left before the half. Over the next four minutes, the Belles chipped away at the five-point deficit and regained a 22-21 lead after a pair of buckets by Ariana Paul.
Anderson broke up the scoring spurt by Saint Mary's with a good jump shot on their next possession, but the Belles responded right back with a good bucket and a pair of free throws by Gabby Diamond. Despite the Ravens edging within a point at 26-25 and two points at 29-27, Saint Mary's continued to come up with responses to keep Anderson at bay and maintain the lead.
Over the final 3:34 of the first half, the Belles out-scored the Ravens by an 11-4 margin to hold a 40-31 lead heading into the halftime break as Paul, Kohler, and Eleni Shea all put points on the scoreboard.
Saint Mary's opened the second half by extending the lead to 15 points at 52-37 with 13:17 remaining in the contest. Anderson was able to cut their deficit to single digits at 64-55 with just over four minutes left, but the Belles held the Ravens to a pair of free throws over the final stretch of play to take the 68-57 win on the road.
The Belles hit nearly half of their shots on the night with a 27-of-55 performance from the floor for a 49.1 field goal percentage.
Ariana Paul scored a career-high 32 points and added seven rebounds and four steals for the Belles. Eleni Shea added 17 points and a team-high eight rebounds in the win. Maddie Kohler tallied eight points on the night as Saint Mary's held a 23-13 edge in points off of turnovers and a 26-12 margin in points in the paint.
The Belles (2-3) open up conference play on Wednesday, December 3 when they host Alma at 7:30 p.m.